Taxation in the United Kingdom/Business rates
Business rates are a tax charged to businesses and other occupiers of non-domestic property. The proceeds of the tax are collected centrally and distributed to local authorities to contribute towards the costs of their services.
The 1990 Conservative government introduced a standard multiplier called the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) set by central government; this is used in conjunction with a property's rateable value to calculate the rate. This was part of the reforms of local government funding which also introduced the community charge.